Four options

How to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11

Use these steps to upgrade to Windows 11 on a device already running Windows 10.

Windows 11 upgrade

You can upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 for free, and in this guide, you will learn how to complete the process in four different ways. Windows 11 is the next generation of the OS based on Windows 10, but it now introduces a new look and a slew of new features and apps. 

Although Windows 11 is a free upgrade for existing devices running Windows 10, the hardware needs to meet the minimum requirements to continue with the installation process. In a nutshell, you will need an Intel’s 8th Gen or newer, AMD Zen 2 or newer, or Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series processor. This is in addition to the requirements of TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot and a minimum of 64GB of storage. 

Microsoft supports multiple paths to the new version. If the device meets the hardware requirements, you will receive a notification from Windows Update letting you know the upgrade is on the way. However, you will also be able to use the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade or create an ISO file to upgrade using a USB flash drive. The company may also offer the Update Assistant, a tool similar to the Media Creation Tool, but it only works to perform an in-place upgrade.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 in four different ways. You can also upgrade the system using a clean installation in six different ways.

Important: At the time of this writing, you can only upgrade to Windows 11 through the Windows Insider Program or using a custom ISO file. Since the new OS is still not officially available, it’s not recommended to install it on your primary machine because there are bugs, not all the features work as expected, and you could encounter problems, including data loss in rare cases. If you plan to upgrade an existing system, it is also recommended to create a backup before proceeding. You have been warned.

Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 using Insider Program

If you want to test Windows 11 before it becomes available, you can enroll the computer in the Dev or Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program.

The “Dev Channel” is for highly technical users since builds are rough and contain code that is still under heavy development. Typically, previews in this channel are not stable, you will come across errors and problems, and you may have to use workarounds to fix issues that may affect your experience.

On the other hand, the “Beta Channel” is for anyone who wants to test upcoming features or needs to validate apps and deployments. The builds in this channel are stable, but you may still run into issues. Also, features included in this channel are expected to ship with the final version of Windows 11.

To upgrade to the latest preview of Windows 11 from Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.

  4. Click the Get started button.

    Join Windows Insider Program button
    Join the Windows Insider Program button
  5. Click the Link an account button.

    Link an account option
    Link an account option
  6. Sign in with your Microsoft account.

  7. Click the Continue button.

  8. Under the “Pick your Insider settings” section, select the Dev Channel or Beta Channel option.

  9. Click the Confirm button.

  10. Click the Confirm button to agree to the terms and conditions.

  11. Click the Restart button.

  12. Open Settings after the reboot.

  13. Click on Update & Security.

  14. Click on Windows Update.

  15. Click the Check for updates button.

    Windows 11 upgrade
    Windows 11 upgrade
  16. Click the Restart button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows Update will download and begin upgrading the device to Windows 11. You can also remove the computer from the program from the “Windows Insider Program” settings page to prevent upgrading to a follow-up version by turning on the “Stop getting preview builds” toggle switch.

Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 using ISO file

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 with an ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Download Windows 11 ISO file.

  2. Right-click the ISO file, select the Open with submenu, and choose the Windows Explorer option.

  3. Click on the mounted drive from the left navigation pane.

  4. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 11 upgrade process.

  5. (Optional) Click the Change how Windows Setup downloads updates option.

    Windows 11 setup update options
    Windows 11 setup update options
  6. Select the Not right now option.

    Disable updates during installation
    Disable updates during installation
  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.

    Media Creation Tool settings
    Media Creation Tool settings
  9. Click the Install button to upgrade while keeping your files and apps.

If you want to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 11, click the Change what to keep option, select the Nothing option, click the Next button, and then click the Install button.

After you complete the steps, the upgrade process will begin and the computer will restart several times. After the installation, you may need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish configuring Windows 11.

See also this video tutorial highlighting all the instructions in the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.

Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 using Windows Update

After Windows 11 is officially available sometime in October 2021, you can update manually to the new version, similarly to installing a feature update on Windows 10 using Windows Update.

To upgrade to Windows 11 manually from Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the Check for updates button.

    Windows 11 upgrade
    Windows 11 upgrade
  5. Click the Download and install option.

  6. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will install on the computer.

Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 using Media Creation Tool

Alternatively, you can also use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade any version of Windows 10 to Windows 11.

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft support website (not yet available).

  2. Click the Download tool now button.

  3. Save the installer to the device.

  4. Double-click the MediaCreationTool21H2.exe file to launch the tool.

  5. Click the Accept button.

  6. Select the Upgrade this PC now option.

    Upgrade this PC now
    Upgrade this PC now
  7. Click the Accept button again.

  8. Select the option to keep your files and apps (unless it’s not already checked).

  9. Click the Install button.

    Media Creation Tool install option
    Media Creation Tool install option

After you complete the steps, the setup will continue upgrading your device to the new release of the operating system.